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OUGHAVAL

In 1868, the parish of Oughaval contained the following places:

"OUGHAVAL, a parish in the barony of Murrisk, county Mayo, Ireland, 10 miles S.W. of Castlebar. It is an extensive parish situated under Croagh Patrick on Westport Bay, which is 4 miles long by 3 wide, and has Innisgort light at the N. entrance. It contains the flourishing market town and bonding port of Westport, which see. The surface is boggy, but much of the land is arable. Limestone is quarried, and traces of lead and copper occur. The property principally belongs to the Marquis of Sligo, whose seat is Westport House. The population of this district suffered severely in the famine of 1847, but is reviving. A brisk export and import trade is carried on at Westport Quay, and some of the inhabitants are engaged in the linen manufacture, but this has recently declined. The living is a vicarage, with that of Westport annexed. The parish church is situated in Westport, where are also two Roman Catholic chapels.

"MURRISK, a hamlet in the parish of Oughaval, barony of Murrisk, county Mayo, Ireland, 2 miles from Westport, and 10 S.W. of Castlebar. It is situated near Clew Bay, and gives name to the barony. The principal residence is Murrisk House."

"WESTPORT, a seaport, municipal borough, and market town, in the parish of Oughaval, barony of Murrisk, county Mayo, province of Connaught, Ireland, 156 miles W. from Dublin, and 10 miles S.W. from Castlebar. It is a station on a branch line of the Great Northern and Western of Ireland railway. The town is situated at the south-eastern extremity of Clew Bay. Its population in 1851 was 4,815, and in 1861 it was 3,819, occupying 533 houses. The town was chiefly built by the first Marquis of Sligo, and is well laid out. The two principal streets run parallel to a small river which flows into the bay, and are planted with rows of trees. Of the population in 1861, 216 were members of the Established Church, 3,482 were Roman Catholics, 35 were Presbyterians, and 68 were Methodists. The parish church is situated in the demesne of Lord Sligo, which adjoins the town, and is open to visitors. On the Mall is the Roman Catholic chapel, and there are Presbyterian and Methodist meetinghouses. Besides the National schools, there is a free school, supported by subscription. The Sisters of Mercy have a convent here. Quarter and petty sessions and a manor court are held in the town. There is a court-house and market-house and linen-hall. The town has been placed under the Towns Improvement (Ireland) Act, 1854, and is vested in 18 commissioners. A considerable business is done in corn and provisions, and there are a distillery and brewery. A brisk linen trade was formerly carried on, but of late it has declined. The harbour is at Westport Quay, a village about a mile from the town, with the custom -house and bonding stores. Vessels drawing 14 feet can come up to the quays, which are extensive, and upon which stores have been built. In 1863 the vessels belonging to the port numbered 6. The Westport fishing district extends from Doobeg to Ruana Point, and in 1864 there were 230 vessels registered, but of late years fish has been scarce. The Poor-law Union consists of 20 electoral divisions. Market-day is Thursday. Fairs are held on 1st January, 21st March, 24th May, 6th August, 22nd September, and 1st November."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018